Below is information regarding the status (still scheduled, currently) IAFIE/IAFIE EC 2020 conference in Pordenone, Italy.
As of today, IAFIE is planning on holding the June 2020 Conference in Pordenone, near Venice, as announced. The IAFIE conference coordinators are monitoring closely the COVID-19 situation in Italy. We believe it is premature to make any decisions regarding cancellation of the conference. If the situation deteriorates in Italy or globally, we will reconsider this decision. In the meantime, we will issue updates to all IAFIE members on a regular basis, two to four times a month depending on the circumstances. Your health and safety are our first concerns.
To provide some background:
· As of 1 March, 1,577 people in Italy have been infected with the COVID-19 virus out of a population of 60 million. The Veneto region has 140 asymptomatic cases, but Pordenone has no cases.
· In most of northern Italy the yellow alert has been discontinued; only 11 small villages are under quarantine, ten of which are near Milan. No public offices are closed.
· Italy has a high count in part because it has been aggressive in testing citizens and people in transit. It was the first European country to monitor ports, airports, and railway stations.
· The Italian government expects the virus to reach its peak of maximum infections within 7 days and is providing data updates twice a day. In northern Italy, containment is scheduled to be over on 8 March.
· A private bus will transport attendees from the airport to Pordenone and conference meals will be hosted in a private location open only to participants.
· Ecole Universitaire Internationale has direct contacts with many foreign embassies and consulates In Italy if their assistance should be required by attendees.
As you make your travel plans, please keep in mind:
· The IAFIE Board and local European Chapter organizers are doing everything possible to ensure a safe and productive conference.
· We encourage you to obtain flight insurance when you purchase airline tickets.
We will send information out next week on how to make hotel reservations. Please be mindful of their cancellation policies. If the conference has to be cancelled, IAFIE plans to refund your conference fees. We will provide the mechanics of how that will work when the time comes.